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Upstate NY Custom Home Building Blog

When Emotions Enter the Home Remodeling Process

Posted by John Graziose

Wed, Nov 6, 2013 @ 07:11 AM

HomeEmotionsThere’s a lot more to the home remodeling process than ideas, plans, measurements, materials and tools. Sure, all of those things are important—and demand a lot of our attention, but there’s more to the story than just those elements. We’re talking about your home here. It’s a very personal space. It’s where you retreat for comfort, peace, security and serenity. When a builder starts messing around in your personal space, something else enters the equation: Your emotions.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal to have an emotional attachment to your home. It’s an indication that it really feels like home! But how do you keep your emotions from disrupting the home renovation process?

Emotions can become a problem in the building or remodeling process when expectations get out of balance. Those expectations often surface in a couple of areas: Changes to the plans and deadlines.

Changes to the plans: It’s easy to get excited about improving your home. And sometimes when you’re in the middle of the process it’s easy to think: “What if . . .?” Maybe you see something online that piques your imagination. Or maybe a friend makes an improvement that you think would be great in your home.

As builders, we love building homeowners in the Rochester area the best possible home they can afford. But afford is a keyword in that last sentence. Sometimes a homeowner’s good emotions (wanting to create a comfortable, secure and serene space) cause them to forget that they’re working on a budget and they don’t distinguish between what they’d like to have and what they really need—or what they can afford. That can lead to frustration, especially if the demands for upgrades and improvements come when you’re already in the middle of a project.

So how do you keep emotions in check so that you don’t overspend—and get yourself in trouble? One way is to make sure you’ve set a realistic budget upfront. And leave yourself a little bit of “wiggle” room in case you want to make some upgrades. Another thing is to meet with your builder regularly to make sure your expectations are being met. And if you want to make some changes, write down the specific changes and get a revised budget. It’s amazing how seeing actual numbers on a page can rein in expectations!

Sometimes, however, the expectations have nothing to do with added features. Sometimes there is an expectation that a home remodeling project will be completed by a certain date (usually driven by an event such as the holidays, a birthday, a wedding or some other major event). That can result in stress if the builder can’t complete the remodeling before the big event.

How can you deal with these expectations? Again, make sure they are communicated at the beginning of the process. If you have a specific deadline (driven by an event), make sure you communicate that clearly upfront. Your builder should be able to tell you if he can finish ahead of your expected deadline. Don’t try to cut it too close. Delays happen. Leave yourself enough time.

Remodeling your Rochester-area home should be an emotional experience. But by keeping your expectations in line, you can make sure that the emotions you experience are positive ones.


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